Pilot William Franklin Buckelew

Pilot William Franklin Buckelew

United States Department of Justice - Immigration and Naturalization Service - United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government

End of Watch Friday, July 23, 1954

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William Franklin Buckelew

Pilot William Buckelew and Border Patrol Inspector Donald Kee were killed when their plane crashed into the Rio Grande River three miles east of Rio Grande City, Texas, while assisting ground units in apprehending a group of illegal aliens at about 4:30 pm.

The Piper Super Cub was banking to return to a field when it suddenly plunged into a river. Inspector Kee was killed on impact and Pilot Buckelew succumbed to his injuries en route to a hospital.

Pilot Buckelew had served with the United States Border Patrol for 9-1/2 years and had previously served with the United States Army Field Artillery. He was survived by his wife and is buried in the Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 9 years, 5 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident
  • Location Texas

aerial search, plane crash

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace Pilot Buckelew.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

August 22, 2021

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